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Research

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The Department has an active research program in both clinical and basic sciences of hearing and publishes 40-50 articles in scientific journals annually. The research laboratories are currently staffed by six faculty members and approximately 35 pre- and postdoctoral fellows and visiting professors.

The principal research and development laboratories are the Coleman Memorial Laboratory (Directors:  Andrea Hasenstaub, PhD and  Christoph E. Schreiner, MD, PhD) housed within the W.M. Keck Center for Integrative Neurosciences, the Epstein Otoneurological Laboratory (Director:  Patricia A. Leake, PhD), Center for Clinical Research in Otolaryngology (Director:  Andrew N. Goldberg, MD, MSCE) and the Speech Neuroscience Laboratory (Director: John F. Houde, Ph.D.).

The researchers in these laboratories focus on wide-ranging aspects of normal and pathologic hearing. The common goal is to understand the structures and processes involved in the sensation of sounds in order to devise better treatments for the hard-of-hearing. Areas of research include the coding of sound in the normal auditory systems of animals and humans; effects of hearing-loss and deafness on the function of the auditory nervous system; reorganization of the auditory system in development, learning, and following injury; use of electrical stimulation with cochlear implants in restoration of hearing; improvement of electronic hearing aids; treatment of tinnitus; genetic causes of hearing impairment; use of genetic methods in the treatment of hearing loss.

Other areas of research encompass a wide array of subjects in the areas of balance-, voice-, and swallowing-disorders, as well as, the oncology of the head and neck.

The laboratories include:

  • Two fully approved animal surgical suites.
  • Five fully equipped electrophysiological laboratories with sound-isolating chambers.
  • A modern histopathology laboratory, with complete facilities for light and electron microscopy and digital imaging.
  • A molecular biology and molecular genetics laboratory.
  • Cochlear implant development laboratory with Class 100 clean room.
  • A small electronic shop.

The Center for Clinical Research is an interdisciplinary center of research in patient outcomes for otolaryngology - head and neck surgery that supports research-based care. Established in 2000 under the leadership of  Andrew N. Goldberg, MD, MSCE, the Center continues to grow and expand its research goals. Primary areas of interest include sinusitis, obstructive sleep apnea, head and neck cancer, hearing loss, facial trauma, and facial plastic surgery.

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